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Published: April 21st 2022
Here we are, the last blog of our little European trip to Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. January in Italy is truly beautiful. But you may wonder why we came to Belgium in January in the middle of a covid surge. Well, beside seeing many friends, I had to apply for a long term visa for our next stop. The only place I could do so is actually in Belgium as I'm carrying a Belgian passport. That's one of the trick when you are constantly on the road, getting a visa for some country just can mean a compulsory trip back to your place of citizenship. Event was slightly stressful due to the amount of paperwork. But job done, we dropped the documents early January, we just had to wait for the full two weeks to get that visa!
So here we are, last stop with a night in Gent followed by a night in a Brussels airport hotel. Most visitors to Belgium are raving about Brugge. Yes it's an amazing beautiful place, but I feel Gent has even more to offer. We are staying at the Marriott right in the middle of the town center, right by the
main canal. No big suite here, just a truly gorgeous view! We did few visits...and once more, we are nearly the only tourists around. During the week-end the Dutch are showing in numbers due to way stricter covid rules over there...and all their shops are actually closed. But once Monday is here, we have the place for ourselves.
We did start by the visit of the Castle of the Counts. The place is freezing but it's actually fun to visit it in such conditions. The audio tour was also a fun addition to that visit. Gent is full of towers and churches. We did spend some time at the Cathedral St Bavo. The church host one of the most well-known painting in Belgium, the Gent Altarpiece, also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, painted by the brothers Van Eyck and completed in 1432. I'm not going to make you the intellectual insult of a copy/past from google, but feel free to dig further. You can encounter easily 100 people at once in normal time in front of this masterpiece. Strictly no camera. Well, we were alone with the guard, and were even invited to take
a picture...without a flash obviously. The painting has been partially renovated few years ago and is now full protected by glass. Pretty amazing piece, including audio tour here too!
The tourists boats were not operating during our visit to Brugge...so here we are, touring part of Ghent on a tourist boat. Not much pics, but it was a fun experience.
I also had to have Tanya to try few of the local specialties...so yes, we had a lunch of shrimp croquettes....and another top stop was for a Merveilleux. The Merveilleux is part of the Belgian tradition, but I had no idea it was from the Flanders. The shop that sell them and is also a coffee/bubble/cake shop is pretty amazing. We should come back here some time!
Next is our night in a boring Airport hotel in Brussels. We have now over 90kgs of bags, so being careful to minimize moving those. Early morning is on the bus to the airport. Easy check-in...lovely breakfast at Brussels Airlines lounge...and we are on our way to Mama...coming soon with that blog...
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